How To Brush Your
||Always use a soft toothbrush for thorough but gentle cleaning, after each meal.
||Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle. Begin by brushing the
outside of the front teeth. Use a gentle back -and-forth
||Next, brush the outside back teeth, steering along the gum
||Inside back teeth: Use short angled brush strokes.
||Inside front teeth: tilt the brush vertically; use an
||Chewing surfaces: hold the brush flat. Use a gentle scrubbing
||Important: always replace your old
toothbrush at least every 3-4 months.
||Wind 18" of floss around your two middle fingers.
||Gently guide the floss between teeth.
||To remove plaque and debris, gently move the floss up and down
against the tooth.
||As you move from tooth to tooth, use a fresh section of floss
Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by many things. It may be the
result of odor-causing foods, tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease,
continued mouth dryness, use of tobacco products, sinus or respiratory
infections, some medical disorders, inadequate oral hygiene or some
medications. Your dentist can help identify the cause and, if it's due to
an oral condition, can develop a treatment plan to eliminate this common
source of embarrassment.
Hygiene-related causes for bad breath: What you eat affects the air you exhale. Certain foods,
such as garlic and onions, contribute to objectionable breath odor. Once
the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs,
where it is expelled. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash will only mask the
odor temporarily. Odors continue until the body eliminates the food.
Dieters may develop unpleasant breath from in frequent eating.
If you do not brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the
mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects
between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an
unpleasant odor. Dentures that are not cleaned properly can also harbor
Diseases-related causes for bad
breath: One of the warning
signs of periodontal (gum) disease is persistent bad breath or a bad taste
in the mouth. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, the sticky,
colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. The bacteria
create toxins that irritate the gums. In the advanced stage of the
disease, that gums, bone and other structures that support the teeth
become damaged. With regular dental checkups, your dentist can detect and
treat periodontal disease early.
Bad breath is also caused by dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when
the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and
remove particles that may cause odor. Dry mouth may be caused by various
medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the
mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe an
artificial saliva, or suggest using sugarless candy and increasing your
Tobacco products cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce one's ability to
taste foods and irritate gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to
suffer from periodontal disease and are at greater risk for developing
Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local
infection in the respiratory tract (nose, throat windpipe, lungs), chronic
sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal
disturbance, liver or kidney ailment. If your dentist determines that your
mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family doctor or a
specialist to determine the cause of bad breath.
Caring for your smile: Eliminating periodontal disease and maintaining good oral
health is essential to reducing bad breath. Schedule regular dental visits
for a professional cleaning and checkup. If you think you have constant
bad breath, keep a log of the foods you eat and make a list of medications
you take. Some medications may play a role in creating mouth odors. Let
your dentist know if you've had any surgery or illness since your last
Brush twice a day with a toothpaste to remove food debris and
plaque. Brush your tongue, too. Once a day, use floss or an interdental
cleaner to clean between teeth. If you wear removable dentures, take them
out at night. Clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next
Mouthwashes are generally cosmetic and do not have a long lasting
effect on bad breath. If you must constantly use a breath freshener to
hide unpleasant mouth odor, see your dentist. If you need extra help in
controlling plaque, your dentist may recommend using a special
antimicrobial mouth rinse. A mouth rinse, used along with
brushing and flossing, can help prevent tooth decay.
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem for most people. Our teeth can be
greatly affected by hot, cold, sweet, and sour food or drink.
Over-enthusiastic brushing, recession of gums, gum disease (periodontitis)
all can expose the soft, porous structure of the tooth (dentin), making it
susceptible to external stimuli.
Pain can be mild and tingly or sharp and intense. This symptom
sometimes is a sign for more serious diseases. Whenever you are suffering
from pain of sensitivity, you should and go see your dentist before it
persists or worsens.
|Pain signal enters tubule through exposed dentin
and excites the nerve.
review of brushing techniques and diet can help reveal causes of
sensitivity. Avoid over-brushing because it can cause damage to your teeth
and/or gums. Sensitivity protection toothpaste works by blocking the
opening of the exposed dentin or by preventing the transfer of the pain
signal from the nerve to the brain.
You should feel relief by using sensitivity protection toothpaste for
two weeks. If you stop brushing with this kind of toothpaste, the
sensitivity pain may return.
What is bruxism?
Bruxism is the technical term for forcible grinding and clenching of
the teeth. It usually happens at night, during sleep, although some people
grind their teeth during the day as well.
How common is bruxism?
Most people who grind their teeth are over 25 years old, and the
disorder affects women and men about equally. Children also grind their
teeth, but usually in response to discomfort caused by colds, ear
infections or allergies. Most cases of bruxism in children resolve on
their own without causing tooth damage or other problems.
Why bruxism can be a serious
Over time, your teeth may become sensitive due to
exposed dentin, and your jaws may even move out of proper balance.
Grinding your teeth can also cause a wide variety of other symptoms
including soreness and fatigue in your jaw and facial muscles, and
earaches or headaches-especially when you wake up in the morning. There is
no known cure for bruxism. Fortunately, with night-guard trays there are
ways to reduce or stop your grinding and even ways to limit further damage
and pain due to grinding.
Do You Grind Your
How to find out if you're grinding your
Because most bruxism happens at night, most
sufferers aren't even aware of it until a sleep partner mentions the noise
or until a dentist notices that their teeth are damaged. Here are some
typical symptoms that may indicate nighttime teeth grinding:
- Jaw or facial pain and tenderness on awakening that
lessens throughout the day
- Headaches or earaches in the morning that go away as the
day wears on
- Spouse or sleep partner complains that the noise is
keeping them awake at night
- Teeth have become sensitive to cold, pressure, or other
- Tips of teeth appear flattened
What to do if you think you may be grinding
If you think you might be grinding your
teeth at night, the first thing to do is visit your dentist to assess any
possible damage. It's essential to halt the course of the disease to
prevent or arrest damage to your teeth, gums, and jaws.